ELMONT, N.Y. – Trainer Michael Trombetta secured his 1,996th career win Friday when Aug Lutes rallied from tenth – nearly 10 lengths off the pace – to secure a 1 1/4-length score in the inaugural $100,000 Glen Cove, a seven-furlong Widener turf sprint for sophomore fillies.
Trombetta, a 54-year-old Maryland native, saddled his first winner in 1986 and rose to national prominence when his 2006 Illinois Derby-winner Sweetnorthernsaint exited the Kentucky Derby starting gate as the mutuel favorite, finishing seventh.
In addition to his Grade 1-winners Next Question and Wet Your Whistle, Trombetta captured a memorable edition of the Grade 1 Forego with Win Win Win in August 2020, contested over a sloppy and sealed Saratoga main track under stormy conditions.
With Hall of Famer Javier Castellano up, Win Win Win was last-of-11 early on before making a remarkable nine-wide move at the top of the lane to swoop past five rivals and collar Complexity for a half-length win.
Trombetta was still in a state of disbelief following the race.
“I honestly don’t know what to say; he dropped so far back and his chicklet and number actually went off the screen and I couldn’t even see across the track,” Trombetta said at the time. “I thought he was absolutely out of the race and might not have had a chance to even finish. But then turning for home, he came back on the screen. It’s just unbelievable.”
Trombetta, who oversees 70-100 horses across divisions at Fair Hill, Laurel Park and Delaware Park, said he’s humbled to be approaching the 2,000 career win milestone.
“I’ve always enjoyed what I’ve done here.” Trombetta said. “It’s went quickly and over the years it makes you appreciate all the effort that everyone puts into it to help get you to these points.”
Trombetta was quick to tip his cap to the backstretch staff that he works alongside each day.
“They’re unbelievably dedicated individuals – and that’s not just in my barn – that’s in the other trainer’s barns as well,” Trombetta said. “The lifestyle these employees live is truly all about the horses. It really means a lot.”
While the 19-1 score by Aug Lutes on Friday was no match in stature to Win Win Win’s Grade 1-coup, Trombetta was just as appreciative of the rallying effort from the dark bay daughter of Midnight Lute in her turf debut which garnered a career-best 92 Beyer.
“She ran really nicely. We were hoping she could handle the turf and run well, but that was beyond what we could have hoped for,” Trombetta said.
A winner of 4-of-5 starts, Commonwealth New Era Racing’s Aug Lutes made her first four starts on synthetic, including a runner-up effort in the seven-furlong Duchess at Woodbine on September 25.
Aug Lutes, with Jose Lezcano up, endured a troubled start in the Glen Cove which saw Caldee set swift splits of 22.53 and 44.50 over firm going. Aug Lutes was one of many chances at the top of the lane and the filly finished with aplomb to notch her first career stakes win.
“She got bumped leaving the gate and it may have been to her favor after the fact, but it sure didn’t seem that way early on,” Trombetta said.
Trombetta said the $150,000 Autumn Days going six furlongs at Aqueduct on November 28 is one of a number of options going forward for Aug Lutes.
Live Oak Plantation’s homebred Biz Biz Buzz also endured a troubled trip when third in last Sunday’s Grade 3 Futurity, a six-furlong turf sprint for juveniles won by Slipstream.
“It was a peculiar situation. When I read the chart it said, ‘hit by gate,’” Trombetta said. “I went back and watched and sure enough the left side of the gate opened but it didn’t latch and it swung back and bounced off of him. I don’t think it had anything to do with where he placed. It would probably have been more an impact for the jockey than the horse, but everything was fine.”
By Fed Biz and out of the Candy Ride mare Candy Striper, Biz Biz Buzz graduated at first asking on the Laurel Park turf ahead of his stakes debut.
While Slipstream and Futurity runner-up Run Curtis Run are likely to enter the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, Trombetta said he has made no plans yet for Biz Biz Buzz.
“He’s a talented guy. I’m not sure whether he’s ready for the next big challenge like that but I’ll watch him and see how he’s doing and figure out a plan,” Trombetta said.
Trombetta will continue his quest for 2,000 career wins next week at Belmont when he sends out Arzak in Friday’s inaugural running of the $100,000 Carle Place, a seven-furlong Widener turf sprint for sophomores.
For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE.
NYRA Press Office
Photo: Trainer Mike Trobetta after he scored a hat trick at Laurel Park Oct. 3, 2019. (MJC)